Bowling Green, Ky. – After Wednesday’s opener was suspended, the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Class-A/Tampa Bay Rays) walked off with a win in the completion of the contest on Thursday afternoon over the Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati Reds), 4-3. However, the Dragons took the regularly scheduled game from Bowling Green in the nightcap, 7-4.
The suspended game resumed first, and it picked up in the bottom of the second inning. The Hot Rods wasted no time in going in front, as Granden Goetzman sent a one-out single to left field in the second. He stole second base right before Oscar Hernandez reached on an infield the single, but the ball was thrown away by Carlton Daal and Goetzman was able to advance home on the play. Bowling Green led 1-0 after two innings of play.
The Dragons forced the Hot Rods to play catch-up in game one by scoring two runs in the fourth and one in the fifth. Jon Matthews singled home two runs to give Dayton the lead, then Phil Ervin drove home Daal to expand the Dayton lead to 3-1 in the top of the fifth.
The Hot Rods would slowly chip away at the lead before overcoming it. Ty Young led off the bottom of the fifth with a double, moved up to third base on a fly out by Pat Blair, and then scored when Alexander Simon grounded out to second. The game was tied in the eighth, as Blair led off the frame with a double of his own. He was bunted to third base by Simon, and Johnny Field hit a sacrifice fly to deep left-center field to knot the game at three.
For the third time this season, the Hot Rods walked-off in the ninth. Armando Araiza started the rally with a lead-off single, and he moved up to second base on a wild pitch. One out later, Goetzman drew a walk, and another wild pitch put runners at second and third. After Dayton intentionally walked Hernandez to load the bases, Young hit a sacrifice fly to left field to plate Araiza for a walk-off victory in game one, 4-3.
Amir Garrett and the Dragons held the Hot Rods quiet in game two, but Bowling Green nearly stole the win away. A two-run home run by Brandon Dailey sent Dayton out to an early lead in the second, and they added another run in the fifth when a controversial call allowed Sammy Diaz to reach at second base. He would score on a single by Ervin.
The Dragons would add four more runs in the top of the sixth. Gabriel Rosa, Avain Rachal, and Dailey all drew walks to load the bases to start the inning. Two errors allowed three runs to come across and advance Daal to third base as he reached on a fielder’s choice. Diaz’s sacrifice fly would score Daal, and stretch the lead to 7-0.
Resiliency has been a characteristic of the Hot Rods all season, and that held true in game two as well. They entered the bottom of the sixth without a hit, but would score four runs on six hits in the frame. Simon broke up Garrett’s no-hitter, and he would move to third base on a double by Kean Wong. Araiza then singled up the middle to drive both home, and he moved up to third base when Goetzman followed with a double. Infield singles by Field and Blair would drive home two more runs, but the rally was halted and Dayton held on for the 7-4 win.
Garrett (1-4) picked up the win in game two despite being chased from the game. Scott Brattvet (2-3) was handed the loss for Dayton in game one.
Stone Speer (3-1) worked two scoreless frames in game one and finished the game to get the win. Ben Griset (0-1) conceded three runs over five frames in the loss in game two.
The Hot Rods will look for the series win on Friday night, first pitch will be tossed at 7:05 p.m. Gates will open up at 6 p.m. on another Fireworks Friday presented by WBKO and All Hit WUHU – 107.1. Midwest League All-Star Jake Faria will take the mound for Bowling Green in search of his fourth win. Tickets and more information can be obtained at BGHotRods.com, by calling 270-901-2121, or by visiting the Bowling Green Ballpark box office.